Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Battle of Maldon (Unknown Author)

Picture a day, we think it will just be an ordinary day of school, work, making dinner or watching a new episode of Game of Thrones, when suddenly the world as we know it is shattered by thousands of warriors attacking our city, annihilating everyone they find.
These are men who believe that fighting is life, and have grown up learning to destroy humanity in a way even the most horrible monsters of today cannot possibly measure up to.
Their fleets of ships could land, destroy life, pillage and leave in a very short time, and though they never wore the silly horn hats that modern people attribute to them, they are nonetheless the (hatless?) Vikings.
The Battle of Maldon is a poem written, by the English, for a battle they lost to these marauders in 991. Some scholars state the poem originated soon after the battle, and I can imagine the person who wrote it held keenly to the fresh pain of losing friends and family, and these feelings are mixed in every word of the story.
I found one quote that shows these emotions and thought it worthy of notice.

Click on the picture to find the original picture without words.

Here is more of that part of the poem.

Thought shall be the harder, heart the keener,
Courage the greater, as our might lessens.

Here lies our leader, all hewn down,
The brave man in the dust. May he mourn for ever
Who now thinks to turn from the warplay!
Old in age am I; I will not hence.
By my lord will I die, our lord dearly loved.


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